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I have no time or place for violence – Uhuru responds to Ruto’s near-slap tale

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday responded to the leaked audio of Deputy President William Ruto confession of him nearly slapping the head of state.

In the particular audio that has since gone viral, Ruto is heard telling a gathering of Agikuyu elders that he nearly slapped President Kenyatta after he wanted to relinquish his seat, days after the supreme court had nullified the 2017 presidential election.

In a rejoinder, President Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi while hosting hundreds of religious leaders from Central Kenya on Friday said he was ready to give up his position for peace to prevail.

Former Chief Justice David Maraga had rulled in favour of the National Super Alliance who had filed a petition disputing the hotly contested presidential polls in 2017. Maraga called for fresh presidential election that NASA, led by its presidential candidate Raila Odinga boycotted.

Kenyatta further revealed that he would have turned the other side of the cheek if Ruto slapped him; “if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

However, President Kenyatta and his then nemesis Raila Odinga shook hands in March 2018, a move that led to the fallout between him and his junior William Ruto.

“Let me ask you, because he (my deputy) has been going around telling you that I made a mistake by shaking Raila’s hands, tell me, have you heard since then of chaos or violence between people from different communities? Have we not enjoyed peace since 2018? Tell me the mistake I made, that they say they wanted to slap me for,” said Kenyatta.

He added: “If he would have slapped me, I would have turned the other cheek because I have no time or place for violence.”

President Kenyatta added that Ruto was syrongly against the peace deal signed between him and Odinga.

“A deal has two people, it never has one… In 2017 you all know what happened, we were almost heading back to the 2007 situation. Those in Nairobi and live among other communities know what I am talking about…we started hearing a kiosk has been burnt there, someone has been killed there…

“Unfortunately, my deputy and some other people did not want me to dialogue with Raila, they were asking me why I was talking to him, and I told them, because they are Kenyans, and won’t leave this country, do you want Kenyans to die in bloodshed? What is wrong with talking to them, if that will result in peace and harmony? I told my deputy, I differ with you, I will embrace dialogue, if that is what will lead to peace. So, I talked to Raila, we forgave each other for the many bad things we had said about each other and shook hands,” said Kenyatta.

The head of state went ahead to say that he does not intend to cling to power after his retirement that comes in a months time.

“I don’t want to remain in power as they allege. This is a difficult job, no sleep…this house is full of challenges and ten years for me is enough. I am waiting for 9th August,” the President said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is supporting the Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his deputy Martha Karua in the August 9th general election.

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